Gear: TaylorMade M5 drivers
Price: $549 with Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange shaft and Golf Pride New Decade MultiCompound grip
Specs: 460cc titanium and carbon-fiber chassis, carbon-fiber crown, moveable weights and adjustable hosel. Available in 9-, 10.5- and 12-degree versions.
Available: Feb. 1
Using a new manufacturing technique, adjustable features and a unique face design, TaylorMade aims for the M5 driver to deliver more yards and make it easier to customize than any previous driver.
The USGA and R&A limit the trampoline effect of a driver face, capping the coefficient of restitution at 0.83. Drivers are mass-produced products, so to be no head crosses the line, company’s make them just a touch slower than the legal limit to build in some wiggle room, referred to as a manufacturing tolerance.
With the release of the new M5 driver, which replaces last season’s M3, TaylorMade is taking a completely different approach. The company designed each head to be slightly too fast, and then, right before they are finished, a computer-controlled system checks each M5 face in several different areas to measure how far it is over the COR limit. Using that information, an algorithm determines how much urethane needs to be injected into the heel and toe areas by a pair of syringes to bring the head into compliance with the USGA and R&A rules.
The HammerHead slot in the sole, directly behind the leading edge, has been designed to allow the face, which is only 1.82 mm thick, to flex more efficiently at impact.
The result of the process and HammerHead slot, according to TaylorMade, is that every M5 driver is faster, has a 64 percent larger sweet spot (from 266 mm2 in the M3 to 437 mm2 in M5) and capable of producing more distance.
The M5 driver has a larger carbon fiber crown the M3 to save weight, and it has carbon fiber panels in the sole that remove weight from non-performance areas. Using the saved weight, engineers were able to redesign the T-track moveable weight system in the sole so fitters and players can now create a larger draw and fade biases.
To help golfers find the fairway more often, TaylorMade gave the M5 Twist Face, a face design that was introduced last season in the M3 and M4 drivers to compensate for mis-hits. The high-toe area has been opened slightly while the low-heel area has been delofted and closed. These adjustments were made after TaylorMade studied thousands of mis-hits of resulting ball flights.
The adjustable hosel mechanism allows fitters and players to increase or decrease the M5’s stated loft by up to 2 degrees.